2FA, or two factor authentication, is a popular option for securing sensitive information that has been used outside of cryptocurrency but has been adopted by cryptocurrency services.
Essentially 2FA is a second factor that proves you are indeed the owner of the account you are trying to access, not some hacker. With 2FA, a second password or one time code is used. This 2FA code is usually done via SMS, email, or an app that is on your cell phone. For 2FA to be especially effective, it’s good to keep the other factor separated, like on your cellphone. This insures that even if the hacker obtained your password, they would have to physically steal and access your cell phone as well to get into your account.
Many exchanges, mining pools, etc. use 2FA which they should. Cryptocurrency is quite discrete already, so making sure that users that want to stay private while still being able to prove that what they own is a balance that companies must make and 2FA is a good feature that satisfies both conditions.
Apple has for example tightened their security of icloud after the leaked pictures of celebrity incident by implementing 2FA.
Security doesn’t stop at 2 factors of authentication. It’s possible to add extra factors of security, whether that’s using many people in implementations like multi signature wallets, or biometric features such as finger print scanners. The possibilities are endless, and each consecutive factor increases security.
There are many phone apps that allow you to easily enable 2FA on accounts that support 2FA. The process usually beings by enabling 2FA, scanning the QR code, and then finally confirming the code.
After its setup, you will have to enter a code the app provides every time you try to login to your account. This is an excellent deterrent against hackers and other infiltrators trying to access your sensitive information. The extra 15 seconds or so to check your phone for the code is definitely worth the added peace of mind 2FA can offer.
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